Kangaroo Island 2 Day Road Trip Itinerary and Useful Tips

Kangaroo Island is a beautiful island off the southwest coast of South Australia. On Kangaroo Island, you can find a pristine coastline, the impressive Flinders Chase National Park, and a remarkable range of native wildlife.

Kangaroo Island is a lesser-known place for first-time visitors to Australia. Hence, it tends to provide a secluded feel unless you are visiting during peak seasons or on the weekends.

In saying that, I had a weekend away to Kangaroo Island in February 2022, and the island felt very secluded in many places I visited. It was the best weekend getaway I could have dreamt of.

2 days on Kangaroo Island is sufficient to visit its main attractions. However, If you are pressed for time, Kangaroo Island can also be visited in 1 day with a compact schedule. If time and budget allow, I suggest spending at least 3 days to better experience Kangaroo Island.

To help you navigate, I have documented my 2 Day Road Trip from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island in this article. A few useful tips will also be provided along the way. Hope you can find them helpful.

If you happen to be looking for a 1-Day Kangaroo Island Road Trip Itinerary, you can find it here on ‘Kangaroo Island Day Trip: a practical road trip itinerary‘.

Flinders Chase National Park
Flinders Chase National Park

Kangaroo Island 2 Day Road Trip Itinerary

Kangaroo Island – Day 1

Adelaide to Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is accessible by ferry from Cape Jervis. You can also access Kangaroo Island by air, which will be discussed in a different section of this article.

The drive from Adelaide to Cape Jervis takes just over 90 minutes on Google Maps. However, I suggest setting out at least 2 hours for this drive, especially when you are not familiar with the road.

Once you have arrived at Cape Jervis, the main road (conveniently named Main South Road) will take you directly towards Cape Jervis SeaLink Ferry Terminal.

Ferries from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island) normally take around 45 minutes. To secure yourself a ferry at a time that suits you, be sure to also book in advance online or over the phone. This is especially true if you are bringing a car on the ferry.

SeaLink Kangaroo Island Ferry
SeaLink Kangaroo Island Ferry

Seal Bay

After arriving at Penneshaw SeaLink Ferry Terminal, we headed directly towards Seal Bay, which is about 70 minutes drive from Penneshaw.

There are many attractions along the drive between Penneshaw and Seal Bay. However, to make sure we get to see all the must-visits on Kangaroo Island within 2 days, we strategically opted to visit Seal Bay and Flinders Chase National Park first.

Seal Bay is a conservation park for one of the few remaining colonies of Australian Sea Lions.

At Seal Bay, you can either take a self-guided tour to admire the sea lions from the viewing platforms or join a 45-minute guided tour to walk among the sea lions (at a safe distance) along the beach. The ticket for guided tours also includes access to the viewing platforms, so you can take a walk along the boardwalk to admire the stunning coastline in Seal Bay while waiting for the guided tour to start.

To get up close to the sea lions, we joined a guided tour instead, and it did not disappoint.

We could only see the sea lions lying around on the beach from the viewing platforms. However, by walking up close during the guided tour, we could watch them playing with each other and nursing their pups. We could see some playful sea lions surfing in the waves as well. The guide was also very knowledgeable and provided us with a lot of background information. All in all, it was well worth the ticket priceOpens in a new tab..

Seal Bay
Seal Bay

Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse

Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse is just over 1-hour drive from Seal Bay and only a few hundred metres away from the Admirals Arch.

Located within Flinders Chase National Park, Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse is a beautiful stone-built lighthouse. Although you won’t be able to access the inside of this stunning lighthouse, it is still worthwhile to drop by and admire its beauty from the outside.

In addition, there is a short 10 minutes scenic walk along the coastline to take you from Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse to the impressive Admirals Arch.

Admirals Arch

Admirals Arch is a natural arch-shaped cave carved by the forces of nature over millions of years.

There is a well-maintained boardwalk from the car park to the Admirals Arch. Along this walk, you will also find a spectacular view of this stunning coastline, which I believe is even more breathtaking than the Admirals Arch itself.

Many fur seals were also resting and playing under the Admirals Arch and the boardwalk. After seeing the Australian Sea Lions at Seal Bay, it was very interesting to compare the difference between these two.

The coastal views along the Admirals Arch Walk were impressive. Make sure you plan enough time to appreciate this breathtaking view as well.

Weirs Cove & Weirs Cove Ruins

Weirs Cove Ruins is only a 5-minute drive from the Admirals Arch. It is the remains of a storehouse built during the construction of Cape Du Couedic Lighthouse.

The Weirs Cove Ruins didn’t capture much of my attention, but the views of the picturesque Weirs Cove and the ridiculously steep descent to Weirs Cove Jetty did.

From Weirs Cove Ruins, you can admire the magnificent coastline and the turquoise water in Weirs Cove. You can also view and hear the playful fur seals along the beach in Weirs Cove. It was definitely an impressive spot, and be sure to check out when in this area.

Remarkable Rocks

No pun intended, but the Remarkable Rocks is truly remarkable.

Remarkable Rocks is a 10-minute drive from the Admirals Arch. It is a cluster of huge granite rocks, shaped by millions of years of natural erosions. Most of the rocks are also covered in bright orange coloured lichens, which makes these fascinating rocks even more instaworthy.

There is a relatively flat boardwalk taking you from the car park to the Remarkable Rocks. The Remarkable Rocks may not look that spectacular from the boardwalk, but you will be amazed by them once you are up close.

We didn’t think we were going to spend too much time at the Remarkable Rocks, but we were wrong. In addition to walking around and climbing the rocks, we also spent a great deal of time admiring and taking photos of this fascinating rock formation. In total, we spent about 1 hour at the Remarkable Rocks.

The Remarkable Rocks is truly remarkable – a must visit on your Kangaroo Island Itinerary.

Vivonne Bay

Vivonne Bay is along our drive from the Remarkable Rocks back to Seal Bay and Kingscote. It is a 50-minute drive from the Remarkable Rocks.

Located on the southern coast of Kangaroo Island, Vivonne Bay is a stretch of picture-perfect sandy beach. As one of Australia’s best beaches, there are a variety of activities to enjoy in Vivonne Bay. This stretch of coastline is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, fishing, and surfing. There is also an incredible rock pool near Vivonne Bay Jetty for those interested.

Since we spent more time at Seal Bay, Admirals Arch, and the Remarkable Rocks than we initially planned, we didn’t reach Vivonne Bay until the late afternoon. As a result, it was too cold for us to swim in the turquoise water in Vivonne Bay. However, the views from Vivonne Bay were magnificent. With not many people around during that time of the day, Vivonne Bay felt like a secluded paradise.

Vivonne Bay
Vivonne Bay

Kangaroo Island – Day 2


For convenience, we stayed at Kingscote overnight. Hence, our morning on day 2 started with a brief relaxing walk around Kingscote.

Kingscote is the largest town on Kangaroo Island, with a range of eateries, shops, and hotels available. There are many interesting murals on its side streets as well. As part of Kangaroo Island, Kingscote also offers a beautiful coastline.

Murals on the streets of Kingscote
Murals on the streets of Kingscote

Stokes Bay

Stokes Bay is about a 45-minute drive from Kingscote, with a significant portion of this drive on decently maintained dirt roads.

Stokes Bay is a hidden paradise on the northern coast of Kangaroo Island. At first glance, there is nothing special about Stokes Bay. It even appeared a bit underwhelming when we first arrived. However, please do not turn around and leave because the best bits of Stokes Bay is hidden behind a rock tunnel.

The actual Stokes Bay Beach is located behind a rock tunnel. Once you have arrived at the carpark, you need to follow the pebbles towards the giant rocks. Make sure you look for a ‘Beach’ sign, as it marks the beginning of the rock tunnel towards Stokes Bay Beach.

The rock tunnel to Stokes Bay Beach was longer than I anticipated. There were also sections of narrow points that we needed to negotiate through. However, we did have a lot of fun wandering through this fascinating rock tunnel. Before we knew it, the spectacular view of Stokes Bay Beach just suddenly appeared in front of our eyes.

Tucked behind the giant rocks, Stokes Bay Beach offers a pristine coastline and a striking view. Even though we visited Stokes Bay Beach on an overcast, the beach still looked incredible with its soft white sand and crystal clear water.

Be aware of strong rips in Stokes Bay Beach. There is a large natural rock pool available, which is more suited for a swim.

Emu Bay

Emu Bay is about a 30-minute drive from Stokes Bay.

Emu Bay is a picturesque beach with soft white sand and calm water. It is a great spot for sunbathing and swimming. Since Emu Bay is not well known among tourists, you also find much fewer visitors here at Emu Bay.

Emu Bay is also the only beach on Kangaroo Island where cars are allowed on the beach.

As the second day of our trip was an overcast day with rain drizzling down, we didn’t spend too much time in Emu Bay. However, if we arrived here on a sunny afternoon, we would have spent more time on the beach here in Emu Bay.

Emu Bay
Emu Bay

American River

American River is about a 35-minute drive from Emu Bay.

By the time we arrived at American River, the sky has become even more cloudy. As a result, the views we got from the American River Wharf were not that great.

However, if you can visit the American River on a sunny day, I believe you will get some great views from here.

Pennington Bay

Pennington Bay is a 15-minute drive from the American River, and the views here were stunning even on an overcast day.

Since it was an overcast day, I thought Pennington Bay was not going to be as beautiful as the photos sell it for, but I was wrong. With the white sand, turquoise water, and sharp rocky cliffs, Pennington Bay was just sensational, even on a cloudy day.

When you are here, be sure to also walk down the stairs for a stroll along its stunning beach. For those interested, Pennington Bay serves some powerful swells for surfing as well.

Only a short drive off the main road (Hog Bay Road), a great spot for some stunning coastal views.

Prospect Hill / Mt Thisby Lookout

Prospect Hill / Mt Thisby Lookout is just off Hog Bay Road and a short drive to Pennington Bay.

Prospect Hill offers the highest point on Kangaroo Island. By climbing up its 500 steps, you can obtain a spectacular bird’s eye view of the American River, Pelican Lagoon, Pennington Bay, and the Penneshaw area.

Although there are 500 steps to get to the lookout platform, I found it relatively easy to climb up, as long as you pace yourself and take the time. The views from this lookout were magnificent. Even on the overcast day we visited, we were able to get some breathtaking views of the surrounding areas. So I highly recommend you to give it a go as well.

Kangaroo Island back to Adelaide

Kangaroo Island is all about the outdoors. However, because of the rain on day 2 of our trip, we couldn’t explore this beautiful island as we initially planned. So we chose to head back to Adelaide without actually exploring Penneshaw.

By doing this, we discovered a Kangaroo Island travel hack.

So… to make the most out of our 2 Day Kangaroo Island Road Trip, we booked the last ferry to leave Kangaroo Island for Cape Jervis (the 7.30 pm ferry on day 2 of our trip).

Since we wanted to get back to Adelaide earlier than expected, we thought it would be nice to change our ferry to an earlier time instead. We were not sure if that was allowed but wanted to try our luck anyway.

When we got to the ferry terminal, they were boarding a ferry already. In the mindset of just trying our luck, we lined up in the queue.

When it came to our turn, we explained what ticket we purchased and politely asked if we can board the current ferry instead. After checking with the system, the conductor just gave us the go and directed us to the ferry.

Before we knew it, we were on the way back to Adelaide.

On the way back to Cape Jervis, try to book the last ferry of the day to give you more time and flexibility to explore Kangaroo Island (if your travel schedule allows). You could potentially squeeze into an earlier ferry if needed (not guaranteed).

Watch this 2 Day Kangaroo Island Road Trip on YouTube:

Watch this 2 Day Kangaroo Island Road Trip on YouTube

Is Kangaroo Island Still Worth Visiting after the Bushfire in 2019/2020?

In December 2019 and January 2020, a devastating bushfire rampaged through over a third of Kangaroo Island. Since it burnt most of the western end of Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Chase National Park was almost all burnt down.

We visited Kangaroo Island in February 2022, which was just over 2 years after this devastating bushfire. During our visit, we could still find the proof of this recent bushfire on Kangaroo Island, but we were more amazed by how well this island has recovered.

When driving into the Flinders Chase National Park, the first thing you will notice is how well the native plants have regenerated and re-dominated this expansive national park. Although there aren’t as many kangaroos jumping around this national park anymore, they have returned. Most other native wildlife has also found their way back to Flinders Chase National Park after the 2020 bushfire.

Kangaroo Island is still well worth a visit after the 2020 bushfire. Although Flinders Chase National Park is currently in a recovery phase, most of its attractions are already business as usual. There is also a large section of Kangaroo Island that was never affected by this bushfire.

Brand new boardwalk to the Remarkable Rocks built post the 2020 bushfire on Kangaroo Island
Brand new boardwalk to the Remarkable Rocks built post the 2020 bushfire on Kangaroo Island

Getting to Kangaroo Island

There are two ways to get to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide – by ferry and by air.

By Ferry


SeaLinkOpens in a new tab. offers reliable ferry services between Cape Jervis and Penneshaw. It operates daily, with multiple ferry services throughout the day (depending on the season). At the time of writing, it costs AUD 98 per adult for a return ticket.

Motor Vehicles can also be brought onto the ferry with an extra charge, but bookings are essential. At the time of writing, it costs an extra AUD 196 for return tickets on a standard car.

Coach Services are available for transfers between Adelaide and Cape Jervis & between Penninshaw and Kingscote.

SeaLink tends to run promotional sales during the winter months, which can save you big bucks.

Kangaroo Island Connect

Kangaroo Island ConnectOpens in a new tab. is a smaller company in comparison to SeaLink. It only offers 2 return ferries (morning & night) per day on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. However, their ferries are priced much cheaper than SeaLink, with return tickets from AUD 60 per adult at the time of writing.

Kangaroo Island Connect is a passenger-only ferry, so you can’t bring your car onto the ferry. However, they do offer car and campervan rentals on the island, which can be an attractive option for those who may only stay for one or two days on Kangaroo Island.

Coach service is also available between Adelaide and Cape Jervis.

Kangaroo Island Connect tends to run promotional sales throughout the year, which you may want to keep an eye out for.

By Air

2 major companies have been running flights between Adelaide and Kangaroo Island (Kingscote).


As a regional airline, Rex Opens in a new tab.used to run flights between Adelaide and Kingscote.

However, these flights have been cancelled since early 2021, and they have not been resumed at the time of writing.

But it is worthwhile checking on their website if you are looking for a cheaper flight to Kangaroo Island.


Luckily, QantasOpens in a new tab. is still operating between Adelaide and Kingscote at the time of writing.

When I checked their price and flight schedules before publishing this article, they are charging at least AUD 160+ per ticket one-way & their flights only operate once per day on alternate days.

Ferries are likely your cheapest and most flexible option for visiting Kangaroo Island.

Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island
Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island

Do You Need a Car on Kangaroo Island?

You will need a car to travel around Kangaroo Island. You can either rent a car on arrival to Kangaroo Island or bring a car with you by ferry. There is no public transport services on Kangaroo Island, apart from the twice per day SeaLink coach between Penneshaw and Kingscote.

Although there are dirt roads on Kangaroo Island, driving around the island is a relatively easy process. This is mostly because there aren’t many cars on the island and most roads here are easy to navigate as well. However, one thing to note is most wildlife on Kangaroo Island is nocturnal. Hence, be sure to pay extra attention and share the roads, especially at nighttime.

There are 4 companies operating car rentals on Kangaroo Island. Among them, both Budget Car Rental Opens in a new tab.and HertzOpens in a new tab. have branches in Penneshaw and Kingscote. ThriftyOpens in a new tab. only operates in Penneshaw. As mentioned in the previous section, Kangaroo Island ConnectOpens in a new tab. also offers car rentals, which may work out better if you are using their ferry service as well.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to drive on Kangaroo Island, there are a range of guided tours available on Kangaroo Island & you can check them out here on ViatorOpens in a new tab..

Where to Stay on Kangaroo Island?

There is a range of accommodations on Kangaroo Island. Most of them are near Penneshaw, Americal River, and Kingscote. There are also a few other options around Flinders Chase National Park. However, because of their prime locations, accommodations near the national park are generally in high demand and more expensive.

With that being said, accommodations on Kangaroo Island are on average more expensive than on the mainland. You do also need to book them in advance, especially during the long weekends and school holidays.

With all things considered, I believe Kingscote is likely your best option.

Penneshaw and American River are too far from the main attractions on Kangaroo Island. Flinders Chase National Park is expensive, isolated, and difficult to book. In comparison, Kingscote is close to both ends of the island, has a lot more facilities around, has more accommodations to choose from, and is much cheaper.

Check out accommodations in Kangaroo Island on Booking.comOpens in a new tab..

Flinders Chase National Park
Flinders Chase National Park

How Much Does it Cost to Visit Kangaroo Island?

Since most attractions on Kangaroo Island are free, the main costs of your visit to Kangaroo Island are likely from your ferry ticket and accommodation. If you happen to be renting a car, that will also contribute to a big portion of your budget.

I visited Kangaroos Island with a friend, so we were able to split the costs of accommodation and bringing a car onto the ferry.

If I was to do this 2 Day Kangaroo Island Road Trip by myself, this will be what the cost breakdown looks like:

ItemCost in AUD (1 adult travel in February 2022)
Return Ferry with a Car294
Accommodation for 1 Night in a Double Room
(one of the cheapest options on the island)
Ticket for Guided Walking Tour in Seal Bay38
Food (1 Breakfast + 2 Lunches + 1 Dinner)90
Cost of this 2 Day Kangaroo Island Road Trip (If I visited by myself)

However, if you are travelling with a bigger group and/or staying for a longer duration on Kangaroo Island, it can significantly reduce your daily costs per person.

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